Experts say think before testing makeup in stores

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Have you ever wondered how clean cosmetic counters are? A California woman is suing a makeup company claiming she got oral herpes after using a lipstick sample.

"Professionals should definitely clean them after every use," Yazmin Cavale, with GLOW said.

Cavale used to work at busy cosmetic counters. She's seen it all over the years

"You don't see sometimes employees washing brushes in between clients. It just kind of gets really busy. The good ones obviously always do. You always encourage professionals to do that," Cavale said.

Cavale co-founded GLOW, an app-based beauty business. Her professional hair and makeup artists come to you. After each session, Cavale says her "Glowpros" make sure to clean everything. We're told viruses and other bacteria can live on brushes for days.

"When you are touching people's lips and eyes and things like that and so it's really important to clean that with a brush cleaner," Cavale said

Cavale also sprays alcohol on lipstick before each session. It's just another way to keep things clean and avoid spreading germs.

"Without any sanitation or alcohol or antibacterial sprays, its just going to linger there until you clean it," Cavale added.

What about your makeup? Simple Money's Amy Wagner says a new study found nearly 90% of women hold onto old makeup products just in case. That old makeup can cause some serious issues. Some cosmetics don't come with expiration dates like food. So its important to keep track of when you buy them. Using them too long can cause skin irritations or eye infections.

Wagner say be cautious using mascara. Your eyelashes protect your eyes from bacteria and dirt. Mascara wands collect those things and transfers them to the mascara. Beauty experts say replace your mascara every three months. Those water-based eyeliners can pick up bacteria too so replace those every six months. Pencil eyeliners can be replaced less often.

"Lip stick should last about a year. Lip gloss maybe as long as two years," Wagner said.

As far as cleaning your cosmetics: "Unless you are sharing with people. You don't have to clean them every single time..Its probably good to clean them once a week," Cavale said.

A 2010 study found that some cosmetic samples collect e-coli, strep  and staph. For a couple of years, Elizabeth Brooks a biological sciences professor at Rowan University took at look at makeup testers. She found on Saturdays, the busiest day, 100% of makeup testers carried some sort of germ on them.

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